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Letters to the Editor: How the bus shelter of the future can fight climate change

 A woman waits in the rain for a bus.
A woman waits in the rain for a Metro bus at a stop on Hoover Street in Pico-Union on April 18.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Your editorial on the need for more bus shelters in Los Angeles County was both thoughtful and timely. Southland cities have relegated bus shelters so far down on their priority lists that it seems they’ve attempted to outsource any heed for bus riders’ well-being at all.

Los Angeles should take a step toward mobility justice by enacting the reform you suggest: Keep the revenue from bus shelter ads within an infrastructure improvement program that makes transit access more safe and dignified.

Climate change, which is largely fueled by private automobile emissions, makes dangerous heat waves and poor air quality ever more common. We must make it more appealing for people to do the right thing and get around without a car.

So, we shouldn’t stop at digital displays. The next generation of bus shelters should also be coated with smog-absorbing materials that clean the air, and they must include water fountains. My organization, Climate Resolve, is piloting these bus shelter features with StreetsLA in the San Fernando Valley.

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Bryn Lindblad, Los Angeles

The writer is deputy director of the group Climate Resolve.

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To the editor: Thank you for calling attention to the lack of bus shelters in the Metro system.

I live near an intersection that has a bus stop at each of its four corners. Only one of those stops has a shelter, which leaves riders at the other three stops waiting in the winter rain or the summer heat. This discourages riders who have a choice when it comes to using Metro, and it makes long waits untenable for riders who don’t have that luxury.

Other cities have bus shelters that are equipped with electronic screens that show bus arrival times, routes and other useful information. I have no hope that Los Angeles’ public transportation will ever be that user-friendly, but surely providing shelter at every stop is not too much to ask.

Beryl Arbit, Encino

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To the editor: You don’t have to be a bus rider to notice the problem with bus shelters. They are too frequently occupied by homeless people.

How can you solve this problem? If Metro could provide better service on popular routes so that long waits for a bus could be shortened, that would be better than building shelters.

Frances Vizier, West Hollywood


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